Brocade black dress

There’s no set dress requirement for a Frocktails event and this year I was fortunate to have this great brocade to wear and I used New Look 6000.

In my progress post, I used New Look 6000 for my shape and I’ll adjust the darts and seams depending on my body shape at the time.

I do love a good ‘little black dress’ to get me through a special event because they deserve to have a special dress but also one you feel comfortable wearing.
This black brocade is a classic that Minerva has listed as a deadstock item and I’ve been admiring it from a far for a while now. The lovely thing about this brocade is you can choose to use either side of the fabric for your gorgeous make. I chose to use the black background version.
Oh the cotton lining was perfect. There was no need to use facings.

On this occasion, I sewed up simple sleeves using organza fabric from my stash. I tend to have organza on hand to interline projects like jackets.

The cuffs on these sleeves are really simple and I had to use a simple sleeve to balance the amazing flowers in this brocade weave. The brocade is really unique so that being special, this fabric is great for those special events we get to attend from time to time.

It’s funny. I did upsize this dress and did a fair bit of work getting the bodice darts to suit my current shape. I can always change the bodice darts as my shape changes through some strategic hand sewing and then deciding to machine sew the darts or stick with hand sewn adjustments.
As I mentioned in my previous post, some of my shaping is larger but essentially still the same basic shape. Accepting my shape for each make is ongoing and keeps me thinking how best to wear a garment so I feel comfortable and satisfied with my sewing super powers.

back view

My shape adjustments are slightly different but I still have forward shoulders and need room for my derriere.
Wearing this dress and being happy with the fit made me relax when I wore it to Frocktails. Yes I was part of the group that was last to leave, so I am sure wearing this gorgeous brocade made me feel happy to enjoy the night and chat freely to many local sewists.

If you are new to sewing brocade, pick brocades in colours you will wear. Find a pattern you would love to wear like this unique deadstock brocade. Find a pattern you’ve used before and see if it will work for the dress you have in mind. Remember that brocade fabrics have metallic fibres for line the garments that will sit against your skin.

Brocade has very little give and this is why for the dress, I used organza for the sleeves. If I had added sleeves to the dress using the brocade fabric, finding a long sleeve pattern would have needed good shaping or used a short sleeve option.

These are all the fun decisions you have when using brocades. Enjoy the journey. Your decisions are yours to enjoy and sometimes, have to unpick them and find another technique or skill to use.

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